Pirates return to Berkhamsted Castle

The Pirates of Penzance being staged in Berkhamsted Castle in 2011
The Pirates of Penzance being staged in Berkhamsted Castle in 2011

An open-air theatre company will return to Berkhamsted Castle to perform The Pirates of Penzance three years after the production that revived the landmark as a public events venue.

When Illyria last performed the show at the historic tourism site in 2011, it was the first public event to be held there for 15 years. Nearly 400 people went to it.

That production was organised by Berkhamsted Town Councillor Peter Matthews, who recently became mayor.

Speaking in 2011, he said: “We are now able to start using the castle for the people of Berkhamsted, rather than just keeping it as an ancient monument.

“I think that’s something we will be encouraging in the future.”

Multiple open-air theatre shows were staged in the grounds of Berkhamsted Castle in summer 2012 – though less are thought to have been staged there last year.

After becoming mayor, Mr Matthews said he hoped to encourage more people to use the site for public events, including open-air theatre shows

The Illyria Travelling Theatre Company will now perform The Pirates of Penzance by Gilbert and Sullivan for a second time at the castle on Saturday, July 12, from 7pm. Gates open at 6.15pm.

Tickets are £20 each, or £35 for two, and available from members of the Rotary Club of Berkhamsted Bulbourne.

Attendees are encouraged to bring their own seating or rug and appropriate clothing for the weather.

A production spokesman said: “The show will go on unless there is a hurricane – in which event it will be rescheduled. Tickets are not refundable.”

To book, send the payment and a stamped, self-addressed envelope to rotary club president Tom Ritchie at 3 Newbury Grove, Kings Road, Berkhamsted, HP4 3FY.

To learn more, you can phone him on 01442 863659.